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Russians must rise

Soric Miodrag Kommentarbild App
Miodrag Soric
March 13, 2022

President Vladimir Putin betrayed Russia with his invasion of Ukraine. Now, DW's Miodrag Soric writes, the people must stand up and demand an end to Putin's war.

Putin sits with a Russian flag behind him, slumped slightly forward, wearing a black tie
Vladimir Putin is increasingly acting alone — and against the interests of RussiaImage: Mikhail Klimentyev/AP/picture alliance

Vladimir Putin intends to make Russia a great power — no matter what the cost to the people of the country and even to the corrupt elite whom he installed. With his invasion of his Ukraine, Putin has betrayed the very interests of the nation. 

Putin is forcing the people of Russia to suffer the consequences of his crimes, consequences that will go well beyond the country's economic downfall.

Ukrainians' hate for all things Russian is growing deeper with every day of the invasion. The return of dictatorship, the end of Russia's opening and modernization, the complete turn from the rest of Europe — these are all the consequences of Putin's senseless plan. He worships a supposedly unique "Russianness," and demands that others do the same.

Miodrag Soric
DW's Miodrag SoricImage: privat

The country will only see its freedom and values restored when Putin loses the war. That would also be the political end of Putin, who is continuing to escalate his invasion of Ukraine to delay that. He can do this because he knows that Russia has nuclear weapons; Ukraine does not. But his soldiers are increasingly wondering why Ukrainians have taken to the streets to call them fascists when they had been sent on a mission of "denazification." His soldiers are wondering why they are fighting against their neighbors.

Fears of more civilian deaths in Ukraine

Ukrainians are defending their country, their home, their children. They have met the material superiority of their invader with the courage of desperation and the willingness to make great sacrifices.

Russia cannot win peace — and therefore it will not win the war. The Kremlin does not have the means to administer a long-term occupation of Ukraine. Putin has sealed Russia off from the EU, the US and allied countries.

The people of Russia must come to their senses — and then deal with the situation. How? Millions of Ukrainians show that every day.

This article was originally written in German.